Robert K Merton
- Category : 1910-births
- Type : GE
- Profile : 4/6 - Opportunistic / Role Model
- Definition : Split - Small (22,28,36,50,58)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Tension 2
American sociologist considered a founding father of modern sociology, and a major contributor to the subfield of criminology. Merton developed notable concepts, such as "unintended consequences", the "reference group", and "role strain", but is perhaps best known for the terms "role model" and "self-fulfilling prophecy".
He spent most of his career teaching at Columbia University, where he attained the rank of University Professor. In 1994 he was awarded the National Medal of Science for his contributions to the field and for having founded the sociology of science.
Merton married twice and had three children including Robert C. Merton, winner of the 1997 Nobel Prize in economics. He died on 23 February 2003, aged 92, in Manhattan, New York.